Edited by Helen Marriott
[Journal of Asian Pacific Communication 14:1] 2004
► pp. 153–178
This paper deals with communication networks of four upper-intermediate level Japanese language learners with in-country experience who are studying at an Australian university, and it also examines the relationship between the learners’ networks and language learning. Utilizing Boissevain’s criteria for network analysis, I compared the characteristics of the informants’ current networks with those that existed prior to their in-country experiences. In addition, this study applied the framework of communicative competence developed by Hymes and Neustupny to analyse the informants’ language learning that occurred within their networks.
The study found that a number of characteristics of the informants’ networks, such as their multiplex social roles and the variety of backgrounds of their Japanese network interactants, were probably related to the raising of the learners’ non-linguistic as well as linguistic awareness. It therefore appears that learners’ out-of-class communication networks with native speakers of the target language play an important role in terms of language learning.
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